The New York Giants and Chicago Bears will meet for the 57th time ever on Thursday night at 7:25 p.m. CT. The Bears lead the all-time series 32-22-2.
The last matchup between these two teams was certainly one to forget for Jay Cutler and the Bears. In Week Four of the 2010 season, the Bears fell to the Giants 17-3 as Cutler was sacked a career-high nine times in the first half and knocked out of the game with a concussion.
That likely won't be the case on Thursday Night Football as the Giants defense have mustered just five sacks this season which ranks 31st this season, while the Bears' defense haven't been much better generating only seven sacks.
All stats aside these two NFC teams are headed in different directions. The Giants barring a historic comeback are out of the playoff picture, while the Bears sit tied atop the NFC North have a favorable schedule the next two weeks.
The Bears have dropped two straight games falling to solid opponents in Detroit and New Orleans. The Giants have allowed 30 or more points in every game this season as their smallest margin of defeat (5) came in the season opener against the Cowboys.
The Giants come to Soldier Field desperate for a win as they currently sit behind the Cowboys (2-3), Eagles (2-3) and Redskins (1-3) in the NFC East. The Bears will just be looking to play solid football and hopefully come away with a fourth victory on this young 2013 season.
It should be an interesting game as both teams have very high-profiled quarterbacks who are equipped with some of the best wide receivers in the league.
Take a look at the five Bears players you should pay attention to in Thursday's game.
Bears- Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) did not practice all week and is listed as questionable, but should be able to start after playing every snap last Sunday. Tight end Martellus Bennett (knee), linebacker Lance Briggs (hip) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (turf toe) are all listed as questionable. Bennett and Briggs will likely start after practicing a bit this week, while Paea might miss his second consecutive game after practice just Tuesday on a limited basis.
--Safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) has been ruled out once again. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod (calf) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (ankle) are listed as probable after practicing on a limited basis Monday and Tuesday and in full on Wednesday.
Giants- Running back David Wilson (neck), cornerback Corey Webster (groin), cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring), center David Baas (neck), tight end Adrien Robinson (foot) and safety Cooper Taylor (shoulder) have all been ruled out of Sunday's game.
--Tight end Brandon Myers (ankle), wide receiver Louis Murphy (ankle) and defensive tackle Linval Joseph (ankle) have been limited all week with injuries and are listed as questionable.
Players Who Must Step Up
Matt Forte- The 27-year old Tulane product makes this list once again not because he has struggled, but because the Bears' offense has struggled to make him a big part of the gameplan as of late. Forte had only 12 carries for 55 yards in last week's loss to the Saints. Most of the carries came in the second half, but he did however add four catches for 40 yards. This will be a game where Forte should be able to be successful. The Giants don't have the talent to really shut Forte down. The Bears need to establish the run early and often.
Major Wright- This young Bears secondary has been quite erratic thus far. Wright has 34 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown this season. However, he has played poor as of late missing key tackles when being asked to cover near the first-down marker. His teammate across from him Chris Conte hasn't done him any favors by taking poor angles way too often. Wright just has to make sure he doesn't get out of position because the Giants have big and fast receivers who can burn you at any point. This is a big game for Wright.
D.J. Williams- The veteran middle linebacker quietly had his best game of the season racking up 11 tackles including eight solos in 54 defensive snaps. He has gotten better with each game. He should have some opportunities to blitz against a very poor Giants offensive line. We saw what he could do against a bad line back in Week Three against the Steelers generating two sacks and a forced fumble. Williams should be flying around on Thursday night.
Final Score Prediction
Bears 30, Giants 20
A mostly clear night in the mid 60's. Lows in the lower 50s. Southeast winds around 10 mph.
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